News Limited is reporting more asbestos has been discovered in imports from China, this time by the Australian Border Force at the Port of Brisbane.
The discovery comes after revelations in July that products containing asbestos were supplied to Brisbane’s 1 William Street and the $1.2 billion Perth Children’s Hospital, and a more recent asbestos discovery at the construction site of the new Royal Hobart Hospital in Tasmania.
The shipment seized by the ABF contained building products from Chinese company, Yuanda and were destined for use at Brisbane’s 1 William Street, a new commercial office tower, which will accommodate the Queensland Public Service.
Yuanda is also caught up in the early asbestos discoveries in Perth and Brisbane and the latest seizure by the ABF is part of a targeted crack down on the Chinese company’s freight. According to News Limited, the ABF has ordered independent testing on a further 37 of Yuanda’s shipping containers and two airfreight shipments since mid-July, but all those tests were all negative.
Coming to Yuanda’s defence was the company’s Australian commercial manager Mark Bottomley who says that the latest container to have been discovered with asbestos material was already on the water when the incident at 1 William Street was identified and the investigation into Yuanda construction sites and consignments commenced.
He also says that independent testing was being conducted at 28 of the 68 sites at which Yuanda had supplied building products around the country in recent years and that so far no asbestos has been detected.
“Some sites have been fully tested, some partially, and in some locations tests are yet to begin,” he says.
“But where results have become available, they are 100 per cent clean.”
Yuanda has already dumped a third party supplier which it said had supplied the asbestos-tainted material discovered at Brisbane and Perth and had also supplied a fraudulent test certificate.
The Australian recently reported that the company is also under financial pressure, with combined losses of $11.4 million over the past two years and outstanding debts to its parent entity of almost $40m.